I sat down at the hobby table to try out an idea for the Figurehead ironclads. Almost all of these ships come with spars and sails set as a separate piece from the masts. Steam-driven ships would not normally have their sails set especially in a battle so it does look odd for the ships to be equipped this way. So, I have tried an experiment to make a ship look better:
Here is Re d'Italia with new spars added to replace the sails.
I used the original sail pieces to get the length of each spar. The new spar is a piece of thin plastic rod. Then, I notched the mast with a sharp knife at the location I wanted a spar, to maximise the surface area for the glue. Add a bit of super-glue, and the spar goes on. After it dried I added another small drop of super-glue to the join to coat over the entire area, hopefully to strengthen it.
What do you think? To me it looks good; I don't think that I will try to add furled sails to the spars. I am worried that they will break from handling during game-play, but hopefully the players will listen when I tell them to handle the ships by their base! I am also going to leave the jib and stay sails on the ship; that might be a bit too much...